More on Greetings to the land.

Is this the end?

Skeletonized leaves on a bed of reeds

Most of us, as Settlers, have forgotten our own and the land’s past. I purport that this is because our more recent ancestors forgot how to take the “long view” with their own relationship to the land and humanity. We can see evidence of this in the recovered prayers from the Celtic tradition (which is the only one with which I am personally familiar).

In the Celtic tradition it was said that we suffer from soul-forgetfulness. We have forgotten who we are and have fallen out of true relationship with the earth and with one another.

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul
Celtic Wisdom for Reawakening to What Our Souls Know and Healing the World
. Written by: John Philip Newell, Harper1, July 2021.

In this respect we are like the above leaf, mere skeletons of what we were for three seasons of the year. Can we, as leaves do, awake from our sleeping and continue our purposeful task of nourishing that to which we are attached?

I think so. I pray so. And that is my purpose here in this blog and in my life. To be a bridge between two different mindsets and lifestyles. To help Settlers recognize how we came to this “place” which I will refer to as wilderness. I do not view wilderness in any pejorative way, but that seems to me a common perspective. It seems the way of seeing Turtle Island by newcomers in the 17th, 18th and sadly, even the 19th century.

I believe that we are called to recognize that all life on this planet and well beyond what our eyes have seen even with all our marvelous technology is a great web of life. My indigenous and my Celtic ancestors seemed to understand that even back in those centuries — and for millennia before. We are all in danger of a great forgetfulness and it is a perilous place this has taken us to. All of us means precisely that. ALL of us…

“One of the greatest teachers in the Celtic world, John Scotus Eriugena in ninth-century Ireland, also taught that Christ is our memory. We suffer from the “soul’s forgetfulness,” he says. Christ comes to reawaken us to our true nature. He is our epiphany. He comes to show us the face of God. He comes to show us also our true face, the true face of the human soul. This leads the Celtic tradition to celebrate the relationship between nature and grace. Instead of grace being viewed as opposed to our essential nature or as somehow saving us from ourselves,”

Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation. J. Philip Newell. Jossey-Bass. 2008

Whatever your faith, wherever you live, whatever you choose to believe this applies to you. We all have allowed this forgetfulness to overtake us. Now we must act. Today. Not in small brushstrokes, or pretty words. We must act and we must act cooperatively.

All the weather disasters of late beg us to turn from this view. All our sisters and brothers who have lost earthly possessions as well as the very land on which they stand beg us to pay attention.

Mary Oliver explains what I mean in her poem, Sometimes, verse 4.

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

This is my purpose.

Please let me know if I am achieving my goal by commenting. Thanks.

4 thoughts on “More on Greetings to the land.

  1. Indeed, at this time we have no other choice. Thank you for this and hopefully you will continue this important work.

  2. Indeed, what is needed and what is now more important than ever. Thank you Susanna for these words and insights. Hopefully you will continue with this important work.

  3. Indeed, we all need to recognize this till it becomes one’s practice. Thank you Susanna for these insights. Hoping you will continue this important work. So needed.

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